Hundreds of Hillsborough County students losing complimentary busing to schools starting this fall

Families living within 2 miles of schools affected
Posted at 2:41 AM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 06:30:38-04

Hillsborough County is hoping parents will show up for safety workshops ahead of the new school year to remind them complimentary busing may be going away for their sons or daughters.

Mishael Wilson is a father of two. His children will not be affected by the change, but he says letting his oldest bike to school is a concern he shares with other parents.

"He fell off his bike going a block or two to school," said Wilson. "It happens and you can't really prepare for those things."

Wilson says he started driving his boy to school.

Parents who live within a two-mile radius of certain Hillsborough County schools will now either have to drive their kids or let them walk and bike to school.

The policy change is prompting the county to work with schools to encourage walking and biking and seek funding to make it safer for children.  New bike racks will be delivered to some schools this summer.

The county says it held meetings earlier this year, hoping to educate parents on how their kids can get to school safely. Unfortunately, turnout for the meetings was not very good. That is why the county wants to hold additional meetings ahead of the new school year.

Wilson still isn't fond of the idea.

"I think anyway that you look at it kids traveling alone with traffic and everything it's going to cause a safety concern whether it's one child getting hurt or ten,"" Wilson said. "It's something that you can't put a price tag on."

The Metropolitan Planning Organization will meet Thursday to discuss ways children can get to-and-from school safely for the 2017-2018 school year. The meeting is being held at 2:30 p.m. on the 26th floor Conference Rooms of Hillsborough County Center in downtown Tampa.